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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 17

Re: Military Retirees & Secrecy

From: John Rimmer  <magonia@magonia.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 22:40:08 +0000
Fwd Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 14:17:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Military Retirees & Secrecy

>Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 10:53:34 -0800 (PST)
>From: Scott LeGrand <varelse@best.com>
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Subject: Re: Military Retirees & Secrecy

>>Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 11:12:44 +0000
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>>From: John Rimmer <magonia@magonia.demon.co.uk>
>>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Military Retirees & Secrecy

>>With the massive degree of media promotion, books, magazines, TV
>>programmes ("factual" and fictional), a huge amount of
>>web-space, newspapers features, videos, etc., etc., etc. devoted
>>to a largely uncritical view of ufology, how can you claim that
>>this is "a society that shuns the UFO topic"? This is a society
>>that laps it up. Many postings on this List are of newspaper and
>>magazine articles reporting surveys that purport to show that a
>>very high percentage of the general population believes that
>>"UFOs are real".
>Actually, while society does indeed "lap it up", I think Joseph
>Firmage is correct to state that if someone in a position of
>power and/or responsibility comes out and states that they
>believe in UFOs, there will be a "giggle factor" associated with
>them forevermore which will ultimately drive them from that
>position of power and/or responsibility.

Possibly, but the stories we are dealing with do not come from CEOs,
tenured academics, etc. I still maintain that society is pretty tolerant
and accepting towards Joe Public who comes up with an abduction account.

>And the San Jose
>Mercury News' Dan Gillmor is dead-on IMO when he states that
>belief in UFOs is no more irrational than belief in the Bible
>yet we do not excise the religious from positions of power and
>responsibility despite centuries of evidence that excessive
>religion starts wars, gets people killed, and seems like a very
>bad thing.

This may be the case in America, but I think if a prominent British
businessman or academic came out as a prosyletising creationist or
fundamentalist it wouldn't do him much good, and the "giggle factor"
would be pushed into overdrive. One up for the UK, I think.
>It's really odd.  You're right that society eats up Roswell,
>abduction tales, and paranormal phenomena in general.  But at
>the same time, no one in authority is allowed to believe any of
>it could possibly be for real.  Just try asking a political
>candidate on the stump trail what he thinks about UFOs some

True enough, but also ask them what their views are on haunted houses,
crop circles or sasquatch. I suppose there is a political element to
UFOs that some other paranormal topics don't have, but it seems to me
that there are politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who have raised
the matter in a serious and unsensational way in their respective
legislatures. They may have got brush-off replies from the Pentagon or
the MoD, but I don't see their careers suffering.

>Their responses are highly entertaining. I imagine that
>their spectrum of belief is very similar to that of the general
>population, but I'll bet a survey of politicians would show zero
>belief in any of this.  Only in America...

... and I suspect anywhere else with a democratic electoral system where
politicians are terrified of offending *anybody* . They may avoid
demonstrating a pro-UFO position, but on the other hand try getting them
to say that people who see UFOs are kooks -- hey, there's a lot of
potential lost votes out there...
>>The fact is that people claiming some special insight or direct
>>experience of an extraterrestrial UFO phenomenon are not shunned
>>- often they are give very large advances on book contracts.
>>It's the wicked old sceptics who are shunned.

>This is a strawman, tsk tsk.  You mean there's more money in the
>entertainment industry than in science?

Well, glad we agree that Strieber, Hopkins and the rest of the
crew are entertainment rather than science, but isn't that
rather my point?

>  Say it ain't so!  And
>just how many of those contactees ever really get the book
>contracts?  Are you saying that if I walk down to Barnes and
>Noble and tell them I've been on a flying saucer that they'll
>hand me a million dollars upfront to tell my story?  Where do I
>sign up?!?!?!?!?

No, but neither do I if I walk in and say there ain't no such
thing as an abduction. (oh, be honest, I once got about GBP800 -
about a thousand bucks, big deal - from a British publisher for
doing just that. I never got invited back, though!) No, not
everybody gets a big contract -- you've got to have a good agent
first. (British readers: try Max clifford!)

>>Who gets more money for a book, Klass or Strieber?

>Who's a better writer?

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that Jerome
Clark will accuse me of Literary Criticism.

>Who gets more money for a book, Penn and Teller or Strieber?

Maybe, but there's still a helluvalot more money in gullibilty
than scepticism. I just want to make it clear that the alleged
great public hostility to UFO experients is largely a myth.

John Rimmer
Magonia Magazine, a division of the P.L.A. Driftwood International Cartel

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